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SECURITY > Okinawa

Police send papers to prosecutors on U.S. military helicopter crash without identifying suspect

  • September 26, 2020
  • , Okinawa Times, Ryukyu Shimpo
  • JMH Summary

The Saturday editions of Ryukyu Shimpo and Okinawa Times led with reports saying that the Okinawa police sent papers to prosecutors on Friday over the incident in which a U.S. military CH-53E helicopter made an emergency landing and burst into flames in a pasture in the Takae district of Higashi Village, Okinawa, on Oct. 11, 2017. The police sent the papers without identifying a suspect because the three-year statute of limitations is about to expire. The papers wrote that the police were unable to determine whether the U.S. military was negligent because the U.S.-Japan SOFA prevented them from inspecting the crash site or conducting interviews with people involved. The papers wrote that the prosecutors are likely to drop the case because the Japanese side does not have primary jurisdiction over on-duty incidents. Okinawa Governor Tamaki said on Friday that the cause of the incident has not been fully determined and that he will strongly call for a review of the SOFA.

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